Long-term changes in above ground biomass after disturbance in a neotropical dry forest, Hellshire Hills, Jamaica

Nino, M. and McLaren, K.P. and Meilby, H. and Levesque, M. and Wilson, B. and McDonald, M. (2014) Long-term changes in above ground biomass after disturbance in a neotropical dry forest, Hellshire Hills, Jamaica. Plant Ecology, 215 (10). pp. 1081-1097. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-014-0367-2

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We used data from experimental plots (control, partially cut and clear-cut) established in 1998, in a tropical dry forest (TDF) in Jamaica, to assess changes in above ground biomass (AGB) 10 years after disturbance. The treatments reduced AGB significantly in 1999 (partially cut: 37.6 %, clear-cut: 94.4 %) and after 10 years, AGB did not recover overall, nor did it recover in the clear-cut plots. Partially cut plots, however, recovered the lost AGB in 10 years via growth of uncut trees, which contributed significantly to biomass recovery, with only minor contributions from recruited trees and coppice shoots. For clear-cut plots, coppice shoots contributed significantly to the recovered AGB when compared with recruited biomass. Together, they recovered 26 % of AGB lost, despite recovering 78 % of the density and height of the control plots. The probability of survivorship decreased for trees with higher pre-treatment AGB values, but was higher for trees with multiple stems in 1998, regardless of treatment. The magnitude of biomass reduction varied among the species assessed and this had a differential effect on their ability to recover AGB. We estimate that it will take approximately 45.4 years for the clear-cut plots to recover pre-treatment AGB; this is significantly longer than AGB recovery time for some successional rainforests on abandoned pastures/farmland. Consequently, this TDF may not be as resilient as tropical rainforests.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Natural Sciences > School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:28
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 02:34
ISSN: 1385-0237
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/243
Identification Number: DOI: 10.1007/s11258-014-0367-2
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
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